Tax rates ‘important but not main reason for FDI’

Tax rates are “important” when trying to attract foreign direct investment but they aren’t the primary reason why foreign companies want to locate here according to IDA executive director, Mary Buckley.

Mary Buckley: Competitiveness is crucial for job creation.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation about the impact of Brexit, Ms Buckley said that “in all we do, we want to be more competitive and that includes personal taxation”

“Across the board in infrastructure, education etc, we have to compete, it’s critically important,” she said.

Other IDA and Enterprise Ireland representatives had commented earlier that tax, including capital gains tax and corporation tax rates, were “important” in the decision to locate here but not the “only factor”.

They cited quality work space, talent and access to international markets as equally as important.

Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland executive director, said while it is impossible yet to predict how Brexit will map out, Enterprise Ireland are helping up to 1,500 companies to examine options like diversifying into other export markets or developing value-added products if possible.

He said big exporters are attempting to counter the more immediate problem of exchange rates by focusing on competitiveness, hedging strategies or in some cases, by increasing sales prices in the UK.

Meanwhile earlier yesterday, former taoiseach Bertie Ahern dismissed the idea of “interrogating” EU passengers travelling here, amid suggestions Irish border checks may be beefed up when Brexit is triggered. He said he could not imagine EU passengers being subject to greater scrutiny arriving in Irish ports and airports.

His comments come after Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire signalled that governments in London and Dublin would work to strengthen external borders here after Brexit.

Mr Brokenshire’s remarks were also accepted by Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald who appeared to support the idea, reiterating the government’s opposition to any border between the South and North.


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